Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
Explorations of personal and community journalism...
Traditional, Alternative, Online...
The new TAO of newspapers?
























 

About this Weblog

News for Fall 2008:

I've gone back to using my old blog site, http://boblog.blogspot.com, to try out some of the new features added by the wizards at http://blogger.com, the free software/service that makes it run.

Blogger allows me to post from all of the computers I use on campus during the week, while this Userland Radio blog can only be updated easily from one computer... So I'll probably use Boblog for quick posts about news stories to discuss in class and save this blog for longer essays. I'll make http://stepno.com/blog a shortcut to the blog I'm using most.

Back to the old description of all my blog spaces...

This weblog is color-coded into several incarnations or subcategories:
  • The Other Journalism Weblog with the leafy green border is my main blog. It's also reachable as Couranteer.com, after an old word for "journalist," not just someone employed by a Courant or Coranto. The blog is where I collect thoughts, notes and headlines about the changing world of "other" journalism, including personal and community news reporting, especially online. This wasn't my only or most-active weblog at first (hence the "other"), but it gradually became the main place I put news and notes for my journalism students, among other things.

  • The AEJMC Newspaper Division weblog, in shades of blue, includes newspaper-related material from my main blog, plus material intended primarily for members of that organization, especially notices of updates to the newspaper division home page, which I have managed since 2003.

  • After a few trials, I set up my vinyl-LP-black Podfolk Podcast blog in 2005, but found I didn't have time to create the audio I wanted. My "podcast" topic was to be traditional, old time, folk and folkish music available on the Web, something I've been writing and thinking about for 10 years. I've kept the site as an infrequent blog on that theme, and as a place to post photos I've taken at concerts and festivals over the years.  I may digress into the folklore of the Internet, or of journalism, as in the test post. For the true podcast experience, optimistic users of Radio Userland, Juice, Apple's iTunes, or other podcast-catching software can subscribe to this Podfolk RSS feed, just in case I get back on the roll-your-own-radio bandwagon.

  • Other subcategories of the main blog are mostly for my own organizational purposes, such as a page for posts about Knoxville, while others are tests of different layout templates, or tongue-in-cheek experiments
Links in a side column of each blog go to longer essay pages and my other websites. The main one, stepno.com, is a combination "about me" file (the left column), shortcut to my pages for students (the top line), and useful-bookmark page (the right column).  The newest site, my UT Knoxville Page, came when I started teaching in the UT School of Journalism & Electronic Media, which has its own bio page about me.

The orange XML symbol provides the RSS feed for whichever blog category you are viewing; the orange coffee mug is a subscription shortcut for other Userland Radio bloggers. The Rocky Top Brigade flag links to a "blogroll" of other Tennessee webloggers.

How I blog
I don't promise myself (or you) that I'll write every day. Frankly, I don't know how some daily bloggers find the time or the confidence that they have enough interesting things to say. Unlike some bloggers, I do go back and edit, both to fix errors and to simply improve the way I said something. (The date or time of a major change is usually noted at the end of the post.) Radio Userland does not include a spelling checker, but it does include news feeds from The New York Times and other sources, which I draw on frequently.

I've gradually allowed myself to drift out of the journalistic third person into the bloggish first person. It's an interesting mental shift for a former daily newspaper reporter. I still wish I had an editor there to rescue me from my mistakes and an employer willing to pay for the time I spend obsessively fiddling with my own prose. It was a lot easier to say "that item's done" when I could hear printing presses rolling in the basement! 

On days when I do fire up the blogging software, I do one or more of the following:
  • write a long essay on one subject
  • pull a half dozen items from my RSS aggregator to post as "syndicated" content
  • go back and add comments or corrections to those earlier items (rarely more than a few hours later)
  • add a "changed" note (like the one at the end of this page) if the comments or revisions were substantial, or if a story "developed" several times during the day.
  • convert all or parts of dated "blog" entries into one of those longer "story" entries, and put a pointer from the original dated entry's address to the new version.
  • read and respond to legitimate "comments" appended to my blog items, and delete off-topic comments, especially attempts to promote gambling, pornography or pharmaceutical-sales sites.
That process means some items could be updated several times: a "raw" syndication posting as written by someone else; a paraphrased or edited version that I've tinkered with, or a longer essay by me, inspired by (and citing) the original syndicated item, and then a comment in response to some other commenter. I try to make those changes clear, especially if more than an hour has passed between revisions.

So far I've only found one case of someone quoting an early version of an item that I changed later in the day. I liked the phrasing of the sentence he'd quoted enough to put it back.

At times I've supplemented or summarized some of this blog's items at Boblog, my old Blogger site, or in my Red Liner Weblog, a mostly archival collection of notes related to the Thursday blogging group I was part of at Harvard's Berkman Center for the Internet & Society. (The site takes its name from its Harvard-crimson motif and the MBTA subway at Harvard Square, not either right or left political interpretation of the color red.)

My more general Backgrounder: About Weblogs page links to my oldest classroom demo and experimental blogs done with plain old HTML, Trellix, Blogger and Manila, in roughlly that order.
updated June 2006


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© Copyright 2008 Bob Stepno.
Last update: 8/26/08; 1:50:47 PM.